Monday, 4 April 2011

She sells sea shells

I wonder what life would be like, if I lived on a tropical island and made a living selling sea shells. I would do that by day, and when the temperature dropped at dusk, I would go for a run barefoot on the beach, my footprints quickly dissolving into the wet sand. Then I'd have a cocktail, with a little umbrella in it. Because you can't live on a tropical island and NOT drink cocktails with little umbrellas in them. It's the law. Fact.

Until I win a gazillion crowns on the lottery and can move to Tobago, I'll have to make do with what I have here. It's not too bad, actually. In fact, the combination of warm April weather and the allure of the sea was good enough to bring about a slight change of plans today.

This morning, a heavy mist hang over the city. It wasn't cold, but it was damp. Tired from yesterday's long run, I was to run the shortest route home after work, about 4 km. When I stepped out into the blinding sunshine, though, I knew I had to run to the sea.

I can choose among several different routes to get home, and the one that takes me by the sea is by far the most beautiful one. After a couple of kilometres running by the side of a busy road, I leave the noise of traffic behind and run among the tiny little doll-like summer houses by the seaside. I used to run this route all the time last autumn, partly because of its beauty and partly because you can easily get the distance to add up to 10 kilometres.

I had no ambition to run so long today, but as I soaked up the warmth and radiant sunshine, wanting to roll up both my sleeves and my tights, I simply could not resist running longer than the planned 4 km. I thought I'd run 6 km and then stop, but after these 6 km I was still far away from home. So I kept running, and it felt good. Not necessarily elegant or correct technique-wise, but today I just didn't care.

I ran on the almost deserted beach. A flock of birds were standing on the shallows. A couple of swans swam idly past, stretching their wings and bending their necks haughtily, as if aware of their own beauty. Some men were fishing. The sun cast its shiny confetti on the sea surface. Everything was calm: the sea, the breeze, the few people I met. I felt relaxed.

Time, though. I had no time. Clock was ticking. I'd told J I'd be home by 16.30, at the latest. But why rush? What do I have to do at home that is so urgent? So I made time for running. After 8 km, and almost one hour after I left work, I was back home. Our cats were on the balcony, bathing in sunlight. And J was very understanding, when he found out why I was late.